Leading up to the match between Real Salt Lake and Chivas USA, many questions were asked about RSL and how they would be able to rebound after last week’s losses. As the game commenced, @rsl_jeremy wrote, “Keep an eye on #rsl's forwards...Espindola is mentally shaky and Saborio has an injured knee. Not a lot of options for RSL up top.”
As the opening minutes progressed play got a little physical leading @alexilalas22 to say, “Not sure exactly what Boyens was thinking but he's lucky he only got a yellow.” Minutes later Boyens received a second yellow and @BT18s said, “Justice done.”
All eyes were on Fabian Espindola and how we would rebound after taking last Saturday off. @DesNewsReal tweeted, “After 10 minutes of positive soccer for Espindola from 25 to 35, the bounce might finally be back in his step” even though he missed an open player not much later, “Will johnson was beyond wide open. Poor choice by Espindola” wrote @JazzHoops.
Unfortunately, this is where the discussion turned from the play on the field and turned towards one event. Javier Morales was injured after receiving a poor tackle from behind. “Morales is out for the season. I just saw his foot twisted sideways” tweeted @edaw33. @Kuriasuti was at the stadium when it happened and exclaimed, “Oh my God. I've got an unfortunate view of Javier Morales right now. I'm gonna throw up. Gotta sit. Broken.”
Following the injury, many national bloggers and writers weighed in on what happened beginning with @hexablog “Oh no, not again” and @wvhooligan adding, “And down goes another big star...this time Morales..gosh that looks nasty” both referring to the injuries to additional Major League stars Steve Zakuani (@stevezakuani11) of Seattle and FC Dallas and 2010 MLS MVP David Ferreira who both received broken legs on poor challenges in the last 15 days.
The twitter discussion then turned from the injury to what next? While @shdwst was looking for some resolution on the field, “there better be some retaliation” many national writers were asking what next for MLS. @BeyondthePitch wrote, “so another broken leg to a creative player in MLS? How many before you finally fix the problem?”
Some viewed the problem as the referee. @lbird90 said, The poor officiating in the #RSL game has led to another serious injury. If ref had been stricter earlier, this game wouldn't be so chippy” while @TalkSoccer pointed his finger at the coaches, “I'll say this...Blame the individual butchers who commit the foul but also blame many #MLS coaches for their style. Thuggery is the norm.” @RSLDonk brought the league into the discussion, “when is MLS going to take action on these tackles? 3 of the best players in the league are done for the year.”
While most everyone was talking about the injury, RSL still had a 2 man advantage on Chivas USA for the second half, but after continual close calls for RSL, the game was still tied 0-0 going into the last 10 minutes.
@sookga1 exclaimed “#RSL ok this is getting ridiculous” as shot after shot kept being deflected or going wide.
After Will Johnson put the game away with a late game winner, @alexilalas22 wrote, “Good patience shown by RSL and rewarded with a goal and win. Breaking down 9 men is not a given.”
The classiest tweet of the night goes to one of the players who received a leg breaking challenge 2 weeks ago. @stevezakuani11 sent this message to Javi, "Just heard about Javier Morales. Very sad and my prayers will be with him. One of the very best in the league."
By night's end, @hagenbutler tweeted what most thought, the match was, “A win with a major loss.”
Host and contributer to the RSL show. Loyal RSL supporter. Follow me @RSLshow and @fuegote. http://www.therslshow.com